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What are noun phrases?

Noun phrases (grouping together a collection of words to act as one noun) are one of the keystones of academic writing.

Noun phrase is making the meaning of a noun more precise from the words immediately before (pre-modifying words) or after (post-modifying) it.

Two Types:

  1. Pre-modifying words are articles, quantifiers, adjectives and nouns.
  2. Post-modifying words are prepositional phrases and noun clauses.

1. Quantifiers

Choose the correct word:

 All, both, every, many, much, some, few, little, any, either, neither, none, each.

i. Each / any / every of the buildings is surrounded by high security fencing.

ii. Every / both / much of the proposed bills were refused by the public.

i. Each / any / every of the buildings is surrounded by high security fencing.

ii. Every / both / much of the proposed bills were refused by the public.

For a detailed worksheet and more exercises – buy the noun phrases download below.

2. Adjective + Nouns

 Identify the adjective + noun form:

Example:An experiment done on a small scale = a small-scale experiment.

I. Unemployment over a long term can affect a person’s mental health.


ii. An element of pay that is led by performance can be appropriate in some professions.


 i. Long-term unemployment 

ii. Performance-led pay

3. Noun + Noun

 Identify the noun + noun form:

Example:Gas that comes from Shale = Shale gas

i. Systems that are used for defence: ________________________________________________

ii. A manager who is in charge of accounts: ________________________________________

 i. defence system

 ii. accounts manager

4. Noun + Preposition Phrases

Put in the correct preposition:

Example: Public protests can sometimes lead to a change in the law.

i. A majority of those taking part expressed a preference_________ the conservative electoral system.

ii. Sustainable development should form the basis________  a corporate vision of the future.

 i. preference for 

ii. basis for

5. Noun + Noun Clauses

Noun clause: noun [fact] + that + noun phrase  

The fact [noun] that the enquiry raises a number of serious issues [noun phrase] should surprise no one.

Put the underlined words into the correct order:

i. Wilson (2019) has hypothesis Mars criticized that the is able to sustain life.


ii. Smith (2018) argues view that the there problems are against with the data system.


i.Wilson (2019) has criticized the hypothesis that Mars is able to sustain life.

ii. Smith (2018) argues against the view that there are problems with the data system.

Common nouns used in noun + noun clauses:

argument / announcement / assumption / belief / claim / conclusion / disposition / doubt / fact / effect / idea / possibility / proposition / view / warning /

Noun phrases downloads:


Noun Phrases Worksheet 1 (basic)

This lesson highlights what noun phrases are and provides valuable practice. It focuses on the key concepts of quantifiers, adjectives and nouns, noun + noun, noun + preposition and noun phrase combinations (see example).  Level ***** [B2/C1]  TEACHER MEMBERSHIP / INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP



Noun Phrases Worksheet 2 (detailed)

This lesson is designed to help students write more concisely by using noun phrases. It takes students through a whole range of tasks including noticing the language in context, eight guided practice tasks and five freer practice activities. There’s a language review sheet included too. (see example).  Level ***** [B2/C1]  TEACHER MEMBERSHIP / INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP


More grammar & vocabulary downloads


Cohesion & Coherence Worksheet – AEUK

This worksheet helps to consolidate what ‘cohesion’ is with a focus on pronouns, word forms and summary nouns. It also includes a coherence sheet on key connections and two practice activities [webpage]. Example  Level: ***** [B2/C1] TEACHER MEMBERSHIP / INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP


Parallelism Worksheet: 8 exercises

This worksheet provides an explanation of the key concepts of ‘parallelism’ and provides an error correction exercise to practise the key concepts. An awareness of this writing element really helps establish unity and readability in sentence structure. See Example worksheet. Level: ***** [B1/B2/C1] TEACHER MEMBERSHIP / INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP



Nominalisation (verbs to nouns)

An introduction to nominalisation. This worksheet shows the basics of nominalising, practices changing verbs to nouns, and includes three exercises from guided through to free practice. Good writing practice activity with a fair amount of challenge for all levels..  Level ***** [B1/B2/C1]  Example / TEACHER MEMBERSHIP / INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP